Changes in Candida Profile in Patients Undergoing Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Malignancies

Jasmine Shanthi Kamath, Raghavendra Kini, Vathsala Naik, Anup Kumar Shetty


The increased oral Candida colonization that resulted for radiotherapy often leads to candidiasis. Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is a technique of delivering radiation with improved dose distributions sparing the surrounding normal tissue and decreasing the ill-effects. Objective: To identify and quantify changes in the Candidal carriage of patients undergoing IMRT for head and neck malignancy. Methods: Saliva from 37 patients undergoing IMRT for head and neck malignancy was collected. The Candida species profile pre- and post-IMRT was evaluated using semi quantitative fungal culture. The changes in the distribution of the growth of Candida species due to IMRT was analyzed using Wilcoxon sign rank test. Results: Twenty-two patients were Candida-positive pre-IMRT, while 24 patients were Candida-positive post-IMRT. Candida species isolates pre-IMRT were C. albicans (63%), C. tropicalis (26%), C. glabrata (7%), C. krusei (4%) and post-IMRT, were C. albicans (55%), C. tropicalis (30%), C. glabrata (12%) and C. krusei (3%). C. albicans showed increased growth post-IMRT in the range of 103 to 104 colony-forming units per ml of saliva (p>0.05). Conclusion: There was no significant effect of IMRT on the distribution of growth of Candida. Candida albicans was the most common species. A change towards non C. albicans species post-IMRT was seen.



Candida; head and neck malignancy; IMRT; radiotherapy

DOI: 10.14693/jdi.v24i1.1078

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